Microsoft first released the Server Virtualization Validation Program back in 2008 to help validate their products running on server virtualization technologies (both Microsoft and 3rd party). Followed soon after that release was a tool called the SVVP Support Policy Wizard which made it very easy to simply plug in your application, OS version, and desired hypervisor and out would come a support statement.
Recently Microsoft removed the SVVP Support Policy Wizard and replaced it with a more generic support stance for its operating systems and applications. If you go to the site for the SVVP wizard (http://www.windowsservercatalog.com/svvp.aspx?svvppage=svvpwizard.htm) you are instead redirected to page called “Application Support in Virtual Environments Policy.”
The page lists out all of the Microsoft products that are supported on either Hyper-V or third party hypervisors validated in the SVVP. The key point they make is in the very first paragraph (emphasis mine):
All the below listed Microsoft Server-focused application versions, as well as all later versions of those applications, are supported on Hyper-V and Server Virtualization Validation Program (SVVP) validated products, so long as the virtualization product supports the correct operating system version and platform architecture(s) required by a specific application.
To make the point more clearly, they go on to say:
Any virtualization product listed in the catalog that supports the correct Windows Server operating system Version and Platform Architecture is supported for the applications listed below.
If there are application specific requirements, those are listed in a separate link next to the specific applications. If not, then you can feel confident that the application is supported.
Even better, they go on to state that features like memory ballooning, VM fault tolerance, or live migration are out of the scope of the SVVP since those features operate “without the knowledge or cooperation of the operating system or applications executing within the virtual machine..” Microsoft goes on to say the following:
However, unless otherwise stated in articles or documents for Windows Server operating systems or for Microsoft Server-focused applications, Microsoft does not preclude their use by customers.
Microsoft is saying that features like memory ballooning, live migration, etc., are fully supported to be used with the applications listed in the SVVP unless otherwise stated. They do state that if you run into an issue with these features you may have to reach out to the hypervisor vendor directly for support. In other words – if memory ballooning broke your Exchange server, call VMware. Remember though that certain features, like virtual machine snapshots, are still not going to be supported for some Microsoft applications.
I think this is very good news for organizations looking to virtualize mission critical applications. While the Support Policy Wizard was great for finding out specific details about specific versions, in my opinion it is much better to simply show that all of the applications are supported so long as the hypervisor is on the SVVP and the hypervisor supports the right OS requirements for the application. After all, I doubt there are many organizations looking at the SVVP to make sure that they can run Exchange 5.5 on Windows 2000 in a virtual machine.
And even better that this makes it clear that features like memory ballooning or vMotion are supported unless the application specifically states that it is not. These are the kinds of changes we need to see to help organizations drive the virtualization of their mission critical applications. I give Microsoft credit here for helping to clarify their support policies.